Juneteenth

The African American Cultural Society, Inc. (AACS) aacspalmcoast.org is pleased to host our annual Juneteenth Program virtually for the second time. With this video we hope to increase your knowledge of Juneteenth and acknowledge the tremendous achievements and contributions of people who are of African descent. In addition, we wish to bring human beings across the globe closer, while we watch this program in celebration of Freedom for All. The video will premiere at midnight. Take a quick 30 minute journey through history with some entertainment. We hope you enjoy!!! And as always thanks for watching.

Two Women’s Readiness to Co-Found the Newsletter

 
gertrude blackwell

Gertrude Blackwell

The African American Cultural Society’s (AACS) newsletter came on the heels of both Ida Sharpe (1933-2002) and Gertrude Blackwell’s (1918-2012) readiness to co-found the publication. Mrs. Sharpe and Mrs. Blackwell are part of the African American Cultural Society’s initiative honoring women who have made the African American Cultural Society a success.

 
Just one year after the AACS’ formation, 1992 became the year that “The Scribe” was put in place.
 
Mrs. Sharpe assumed the chairmanship, and Mrs. Blackwell took on the editor’s role. They fulfilled the requirements assigning an assistant editor, recorder, and two reporters – in addition to others later joining the Scribe Committee.
 
Ida Sharpe

Ida Sharpe

Both the chairman and the editor had tools: Mrs. Sharpe was formerly the Administrative Director of Social Services for the New York City managerial staff. She served as President of the East Central Florida Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, and was formerly a member of the AACS Board of Directors.

 
Mrs. Sharpe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Long Island University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University.
 
Mrs. Blackwell was promoted through the New York City ranks of Deputy Superintendent, assigned Commanding Officer at Elmhurst Prison. She served as AACS First Vice-President, Cultural Committee Chair, and By-Laws Committee member.
 
In a 2007 Scribe interview, affirming that in 1946 she joined the New York City Department of Correction, Mrs. Blackwell said, “Young and militant, I joined with other young, educated correction officers.” Mrs. Blackwell fulfilled her undergraduate studies at Brooklyn College.
 
Mrs. Sharpe and Mrs. Blackwell ran the newsletter every February, April, June, August, October, and December.
 
The Committee convened every other month; once during the month to proofread, and again to collate the newsletter, and attach the mailing labels.
 
A narrative gave the newsletter’s voice for featuring a President’s message, Board of Directors’ message, committee reports, upcoming events and elections, advertisements, photo captions spotlighting individuals, a committee directory, “In Memory of” column, and a focus on “What’s Happening in the Neighborhood”, “Dear Editor”, an “Open Letter”, “Did You Know” historical column, and the quotations of famous people.
 
The Scribe Committee and the Cultural Committee staged the first-ever Gospel Show for the African American Cultural Society, ramping up public engagement in 2003. And, the Scribe Committee cast the spotlight to present “A Hip-Hop Show, Dance and Beyond” in 2006 for local youth.
 
To see how the vision of the newsletter has expanded, check out the latest Scribe at https://www.facebook.com › AACSPalmCoast.

Wonderful News!! Our NEW roof is complete. We are grateful for all the hard work done by our Board of Directors led by Chairman Edmund G. Pinto, Jr., and our Executive Board lead by President Joe Matthews. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Blanche Valentine, our Center Administrator, for all the workarounds she had to do to keep the Center going. You can show your appreciation by donating to the Maintenance Reserve Fund.


Thanks for Your Donation in the Past

Here is the Status of our Fundraising Projects. Please Consider Donating to our Maintenance Reserve Fund 2021 Campaign and Help with the Effort to Increase our Membership

Fundraising
Donate to our Maintenance Reserve Fund 2021 Campaign
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AACS Salutes Women who have led the organization over the past 30 years.

Vivian

Featured
Vivian Richardson is the first woman to serve in multiple leadership roles that included president and chairperson of the board of directors. She moved through the ranks over several years serving full terms as 2nd Vice President and 1st Vice President under Walter Boone. She served as President 1/2007 – 12/2008. Following her election to the Board of Directors from 2012 – 2013, she served an additional term as Chairperson 2014 -2015. Vivian remained committed to AACS throughout many years. She fondly recalls as Chairperson of ‘Ways & Means’ Committee traveling to New Orleans historic Chevy Chase Restaurant, churches, and museums in the original Black areas. The group also hosted a trip to see the Tampa Bay Rays baseball against the Yankees. In addition, to dinner dances, and such, Vivian says, “of course, we raised lots of money keeping AACS afloat!” During President Pinto’s tenure, Vivian raised $800 to go toward building the monument on U.S. Hwy 1. Recalling that, “I only had a couple of days, but raised the money over the weekend, she says, “Every time I pass it, I feel proud”. Vivian has many fond memories of her time with AACS. She adores entertainment and joined several AACS members in “a wildly successful play”, Bill Withers – Who Is He (And What is He to You). During AACS, 20th Anniversary in 2011, Vivian saw an article in the paper about Andrew Young who was being honored for his Civil Rights achievements in St. Augustine. She seized the opportunity to head down to St. Augustine to approach Mr. Young with an invitation letter to speak at the anniversary celebration. To her delight she was invited to attend the luncheon for Andrew Young by the Mayor of St. Augustine along with Herman Price and his wife Madalyn, who happened to be there. And, as she said, “the rest is history”. Vivian was honored by her inclusion in this tribute to AACS Women Leaders during Women’s History Month and excited to share her story. She continues to be very active in the Palm Coast community serving as president of the Afro-American Caribbean Heritage Organization (AACHO) for multiple terms.

 

Ecklin

Stephanie Ecklin is the youngest person to have been elected in a leadership role at AACS.  She served as President from 1/2014-12/2015.  Stephanie’s focus as president was bringing young people into the organization, she understood the importance of leaving a legacy.  Stephanie has often given back to her community and was commended for being among Flagler County Leaders in working with FEMA to distribute aid after Hurricane Matthew.  She has always been an advocate for youth fostering multiple youth programs.  She states that, “I think its essential (students) know their talent is not in vain”.  Stephanie was publisher of “Our Voices Thrive” (OVT) Teen Magazine, administrator for a youth after school program in partnership with the Flagler County School System, chairperson for the Flagler County NAACP ACT-SO, an achievement program for youth.  She was also instrumental in bringing the Boys and Girls Club to Flagler County and was the director at their Rymfire/Palm Coast branch of the Volusia/Flagler Boys and Girls Club.  Currently she serves as regional manager for Child Protective Services of the Connecticut Judicial Branch for Juvenile matters.

J Browne

First women to hold a top leadership role in AACS:

Jacqueline Browne, Chairperson 1995 – 1998

A retired educator and a graduate of Hunter College in NYC where she earned a BA & MS degree, Jackie also earned a diploma in public service at St. John’s University.  After more than 25 years at the Board of Education, she elevated herself to Deputy Superintendent and Admin Superintendent before retiring as community Superintendent of District 25 in NYC.  She also served as vice president of the NY Association of School Superintendents and has held seats on numerous boards.  Contributing toward organizing the structure of the AACS not long after it was initially formed in 1991, Jackie was instrumental in developing the prospectus which would aid in moving the AACS toward land ownership and funding the building of our current facility.  After her leadership role chairing the Board of Directors at  AACS Jackie took the lead in reorganizing the local branch of the     NAACP. She became their first-elected Branch 5147 president.  The Jacqueline A. Browne Memorial Golf Tournament became a fundraiser formed in her honor after her death to commemorate her contribution to the organization.

 

Ed Brown, Chairman AACS Africa Study Group Travels to Ghana Dec 2018

AACS recognizes Ghana’s 64 years of independence on 3/8/2021.
Ghana Independence Day

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Youth Reality

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African American Cultural Society

The mission and purpose of the African American Cultural Society, Inc. is to preserve and perpetuate the cultural heritage of African Americans through educational, artistic, intellectual and social activities and services deemed to be in the best interests of the entire community.

AACS Membership has its benefits

  • AACS educates and interprets our rich African American culture.

  • AACS owns the beautiful Cultural Center building and five surrounding acres.

  • AACS is a repository to preserve our history of African American accomplishments.

  • AACS evidences our concern for our youth by offering training, programs, and relevant activities.

  • AACS perpetuates our culture through the presentation of visual and performing arts.

Become a Member Today!
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Jeanette Wheeler

Jeanette Wheeler

Periodically, we highlight one of our most productive members, this month’s selection is Mrs. Jeanette Wheeler. Jeanette is currently the Chairwoman of the Youth Black History Committee. This Committee has raised and distributed over $82,000 in scholarship since its inception. She is also a member of the Public Affairs Committee, the Membership Committee, and a past member of the AACS Board of Directors. The following is an excerpt from an article, dated March 8, 2018, from the Palm Coast Observer:

“Jeanette Wheeler has been an activist for equality her entire life.

Her passion for civic engagement led her to found the Youth Black History Reality Program in Flagler County through the African American Cultural Society. The program recently celebrated its 15th year of teaching local African American students about their culture and inspiring them to strive for success.

Wheeler said the inaugural program held in February 2003 filled the AACS center on U.S. 1 from wall to wall, as curiosity for something new piqued an interest in the community.”

Read the entire article click here

Upcoming Events

General membership meeting

General Membership Meeting

June 26 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 11:00 am on day Last of the month, repeating until June 27, 2021

News

  • Oyotunji

The Kingdom of Oyotunji

December 13th, 2020|Comments Off on The Kingdom of Oyotunji

Jean Tanner The AACS member extraordinaire, Jean Tanner, bought to my attention the village of Oyotunji:  "Oyotunji African village was founded in 1970 in Sheldon, South Carolina by Walter Eugene King. It [...]

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WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AACS

James Sharpe

“As a Founding Member, I am very proud of what we accomplished in the early days. There were many sleepless nights as we grappled with how to get the land and how to pay for construction. All the issues were worked out, and the results is this beautiful building you see here today. I invite you to become a member today”

James Sharpe
Jim Lee

“As original lifetime members, Elva and I were involved from the very beginning. Jim was a member of the “Construction Cabinet” that supervised the overall construction from permitting to final occupancy. Elva was a member of the group that wrote the charter and bylaws and got the approval from the State. We highly recommend AACS as a place to enrich your heritage”

Jim & Elva Lee

“As chairperson of the membership committee, I encourage all to become members to help perpetuate African American cultural experience. Among the reasons to join are: AACS educates and interprets our history, AACS promotes and celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans, AACS provides exciting, trips, social events, lectures, and many other activities.”

Jean Tanner

Dee and I have used the African American Cultural Society facilities for a few years now to conduct our meetings and other events. The building is beautiful and the administered staff is great to work with. We highly recommend it for your next event.

Mike & Dee Cocchiola

“I recently moved to Florida from California. As an outgoing people person, I was looking for an organization that offers social activities as well as cultural enrichment activities. AACS more than meets both requirements.  I am glad I became a member.”

Geri Wright

“We all wanted a place to call our own. Originally, the idea was to create a social club. But some of us wanted something more along the lines of a cultural club. The African American Cultural Society was born after considerable discussion. The result of the early discussion is what you see now; a place to celebrate our heritage.”

William (Chappie) Williams